Conviction is an incredible story turned into a slightly cloying movie. Like real life, it's not perfect but Sam Rockwell makes it all better.

Season of the Witch

Charming? Charmin Ultra more like. Still, this is dumb, grimy, terrible fun. In the worst way possible.

The King's Speech

We've seen this all before, but never so articulate. Magnificent.

Top 15 Films of 2010

Picking 10 was too hard, so here's the 15 best films of the year. And no, Gulliver's Travels ain't in it.

The Next Three Days

I'm Russell Crowe's Wife Get Me Out of Prison is surprisingly believable. Inconsistent, but exciting.

Love and Other Drugs

This Viagra-inspired tale is an enjoyable ride, but ends up a bit of a let down.

127 Hours

As a follow-up to Slumdog, it's a solid effort. As a story of survival, it's incredible.

Gulliver's Travels

Robots and midgets and Jack Black. Oh my. Watchable, but hardly enjoyable.

The King's Naughty Speech

Why the 12A certificate should go **** itself.

Tron: Legacy

As dull as dunking a Digestive into a lukewarm cup of tea.

Narnia - According to Aslan

A brief recap of The Chronicles of Narnia, with the help of Aslan the inflatable lion.

Star Ratings

Well good


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Home Reviews Cinema The King's Speech
The King's Speech Print E-mail
Written by Selina Pearson   
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 10:29
Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce
Certificate: 12A

Poor Bertie (Firth). He has to deal with something most of us hate: public speaking. He fluffs his way through a speech at a twin-towered Wembley, packed full of people for the closing ceremony for the Empire Exhibition. Not a good start for the King’s second son.

The need to deliver a speech becomes increasingly important to the royals with the introduction of the wireless; "we’ve become actors," declares King George V (His Royal Highness The Gambon). Relentlessly and cruelly badgered by his imperious father, the Duke of York has become defined by his speech impediment.

Poor wife Liz (Bonham Carter) scours high and low for someone who can help with Bertie’s crippling stammer and eventually finds alliterative antipodean Lionel Logue (Rush) lurking around Harley Street. Logue rolls out the full Henry Higgins act in a speech exercise montage, ranging from diaphragm exercises to 12A-busting sweary rants. They delve into the source of the Prince's impediments, uncovering a bruised psyche and years of familial taunting from his overbearing father and caddish older brother (Pearce).

The film deals with themes of inadequacy and dedication to duty. The latter is shunned by sibling Edward VIII in his pursuit of twice-divorced Wallis Simpson. Focusing on the personal struggle instead of long-winded exposition, the abdication provides the impetus for the soon-to-be-King to find a cure. In the background, the build up to World War II haunts the whole film.

David Seidler’s bright and witty script allows the fantastic cast to shine, particularly the two leads. Firth leaves all memories of tacky rom-coms far behind with a fine follow-up to his heartbreaking performance in A Single Man. By his side, Bonham Carter fills the shoes of the supportive and assertive wife amiably. Rush as Logue is effervescent, warm and funny and threatens to steal the film until Timothy Spall turns up as Churchill. It's an endearing, rich and humourous piece, superior to Stephen Frears' The Queen in tone, script and subject matter.


The King's Speech is a crowning achievement for British film. We've seen this all before, but never so articulate. Magnificent.


Your rating

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  • bbfc
  • bertie
  • biopic
  • colin firth
  • david seidler
  • geoffrey rush
  • guy pearce
  • helena bonham carter
  • king george vii
  • lionel logue
  • michael gambon

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Comments (1)
1Wednesday, 05 January 2011 12:39
I'm supposed to be seeing The Next Three Days tonight, but I'm secretly hoping that it's sold out so I can drag my hapless friend along to this instead :)